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4 Through 7

By Chris Gonsalves  |  Posted 2008-04-09 Print this article Print

What if you had a crystal ball that could show you what technologies would be all the rage in 2033? Gartner says you do.

4. Automated speech translation.
Once the natural language processing hurdles are cleared, there’s still the matter of translation and output in a language humans can understand. Some rudimentary systems have already been created to accomplish basic speech translation, such as one- and two-way translations.
5. Persistent, reliable long-term storage.
Current technologies are hard-pressed to perfectly preserve Francine Berman’s 2006 estimate of 161 exabytes (or 161 quintillion bytes) of digital information on digital media for more than 20 years. The barriers to long-term archiving (in excess of 100 years) that must be overcome include format, hardware, software, metadata and information retrieval, to name a few.
6. Increase programmer productivity a hundredfold.
As demand for software development increases, and the number of students pursuing software engineering and computer science degrees declines, meeting future demands will require increasing the output and productivity of each programmer. While tools that enhance productivity continue to capture attention, the best solution may lie in effectively and efficiently exploiting reusable code. But many challenges exist there as well, including minimizing the time required to find the perfect module and avoiding the need to modify reusable software.

7. Identifying the financial consequences of IT investing.
One of the toughest challenges facing IT leaders is finding ways to convey the business value of IT in terms business executives understand. Gartner suggests a new discipline called “management accounting” to give business advice and recommendations that would quantify the consequences of a particular IT deployment. Unlike financial accounting measurements, which are standard across public companies, the particular management accounting metrics could be different for each company.

This Grand Challenge would be considered conquered when a request for an IT project was argued with the following certainty: “If you invest in our IT proposal, you will see an additional 3 cents [in] earnings per share directly attributable to this project by the third quarter of next year.”

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